Life moving too fast? Stuff happening all around and you are feeling out of control? Ready to hit reset? There’s a lot of power in a pause. A pause is a simple time out and a break in the action.
The Power of the Pause
In a recent Houston Chronicle article, author Marci Sharp talked about “Pausing gives us the opportunity to choose how we want to show up, to stay present and connected, and it’s reliably settling.” A pause can help us pull back, reset our direction, keep us from regret in a situation, and be more intentional and conscious in any outcome.
Not so much power from a pause
Pausing can be especially unnatural for those with ADHD. It’s hard to stop and transitions are difficult. After starting a task, hyperfocus can kick in with an intense period of focus. If you practice the Pomodoro Method, a short pause can be not so helpful in that getting back to work could be difficult. During a pause you could get distracted and move onto a different, more interesting project or other diversion. A pause is not always the answer for productivity.
Pause for emotion regulation
A pause for emotional regulation can help you be your best self. With a pause, you can identify the emotion you are feeling and choose your response to that feeling. The pause gives you time for awareness and the opportunity to act with a desired emotion and action accordingly. When emotions are ramping up, pay attention and name that emotion. Naming an emotion can be the pause itself.
Pause for impulsivity
Creating a break before acting impulsively can prevent regret. Impulsive actions often lead to negative consequences. Use your intuition and self-talk to create awareness of your impulsivity. Do you remember a time that a pause would have prevented a situation? Inserting a moment to remember a consequence can create an improved response and decision.
Pause for processing
Information comes at us quickly, from many sources, at a rate we may need to pause to understand all that is being shared. Having time to process information helps us better understand and more fully integrate information for us to learn.
Pause for communication
Active listening helps us communicate effectively. That is to listening and then repeating back what we hear in a positive way with a partner or colleague to insure we and they are heard. As often as we or our partner feel that they have not been heard, this pause for communication is a powerful positive connection. Give yourself and your partner ample time in your pause. It will help the flow of conversation and engagement.
When you use the power of the pause consistently, you are not only using the tool to help with challenges of ADHD. You are moving forward with emotional intelligence, consistent responses and improved communication.